The province’s largest public-sector union launched a campaign Tuesday asking businesses to publicly show support for its members.
In a message to members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees, NAPE president Jerry Earle called the union’s sticker campaign a “province-wide” and “positive” initiative.
It’s the latest in the union’s dispute with the St. John’s Board of Trade and the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council. Tensions flared when the business groups denounced parts of the union’s tentative agreement with provincial government, especially the no-layoff clause, while NAPE members were in the process of voting on the agreement.
While Earle pondered a boycott of some St. John’s Board of Trade businesses last week, he also said he did not want to boycott all board members’ businesses.
“I’ve heard from some people, some businesses within the Board of Trade, and they are certainly not supporting the commentary that’s being made by some of their leadership,” he said.
So instead of an all-out boycott, Earle says the sticker campaign allows “businesses who support NAPE workers to show their support to our members and the general public.”
The idea is that businesses will display a decal on their front door or window that says, “NAPE Members Welcome Here.” NAPE will then post on its website the names of businesses showing support. Earle says members do not want to do business with someone who is opposed to them, so this campaign allows members to know which businesses support them.
The union is also asking its members to take a selfie when they see a business with the decal, and post it to social media with the hashtag #NAPEwelcome.
The union has a dedicated website for the campaign where businesses across the province can order decals.
Meanwhile, Earle says NAPE is making contact with some of the larger businesses with which the union does business. If the businesses support statements made by Board of Trade president Dorothy Keating, the union will take its business elsewhere, he says.
The St. John’s Board of Trade is not commenting on the campaign.